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Walter S




Location: Czech Republic
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject: Seeking informations about 16th century two-hander design         Reply with quote

Hello,
I'm a computer game developer and I need to produce an accurate model of 16th century two-hander used by German Landsknechts. I would be grateful if you can take a look at the scheme of my sword model attached to this post (for some reason it doesn't show a preview of the scheme, just a link )and tell me if you see anything wrong with it. I did my best using reference photos, however some things are hard to judge from photos. Mostly thickness of parts - crossguard, side rings, parrying hooks and grip. I'm concerned that my estimates might be too thick.
Also I would welcome some info about construction of two-hander grip, because I'm not even sure if it is wood or leather on photos.



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twohander_render.jpg
Two-hander render

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Two-Hander scheme [ Download ]
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks heavy. That would be close to, or even over, 4kg, I think, which is substantially heavier than I'd prefer. A thinner blade, perhaps, 7mm tapering to about 5mm? But this wouldn't make much visual difference, so this might not be a big deal for your purposes. I don't think the guard and rings are too thick. The grip looks to be in a reasonable and comfortable range.

The hooks on the cross look dangerous to the user, especially the ones towards the grip. Hooks were common enough on crosses, but out to the side, not forwards and backwards. It would be most inconvenient to have a hook like that catch on your own clothing, and I can't see a backward (i.e., grip-ward) hook being useful in fighting. Hooks on the guard are often the sign of a parade sword , as opposed to a fighting sword.

Leather-covered grip, with wooden core, would be normal. At least, this is what I see most often. Some bare wood, which might have had leather originally, and some wire-wrapped grips.

For a computer game sword, it's already much more realistic than most.
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 4:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can thin down the point, making it around 2 mm 50 mm from the point.
The forwards end of the grip toward the guard could thinner and less wide: reduce thickness to some 22 or 25 mm and width to around 35 - 38 mm.
The grip overall looks more like a earlier long gripped sword (a mid to late 15th C long sword, rather than a 16th C two hander). These two handers often had more or less cigar shaped grips, sometimes with bulbous swellings i the middle. The grip could also be made longer by 10 cm.
The narrow end of the pommel can be of a smaller diameter. Make it about 20 - 22 mm, and so also trim down the upper end of the grip gradually.

Make widest part of pommel 55 mm diameter.
Also make the shape of the pommel more like an old style light bulb with narrow stem: less "angular".

Take away the two angular decorations/features/kinks on the blade side of the guard. The arms of the guard should be more or less even width (if you do not want to add details like beast heads, scrolls or floral motifs) from cross to ends (perhaps growing in width a little).
You can make the rings of the guard larger, but keep shape.
You can add fleur de lys inside the rings growing out from the middle of the guard.

You can make the sharp part of the blade less long (about 90-100 cm) and make the ricasso part longer by the same amount.
Quite often these blades grow wider towards the point, rather than less wide. You could let the blade start out at around 40 mm and let it grow to around 55 or 58 mm.

The ricasso then needs to be less wide as well, of course. Make it around 35 mm wide but keep it 10 mm thick.

You swords looks very realistic for one intended for a computer game.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great swords meant for fighting have a pronounced distal taper, and the last 200mm or so of a fighting sword (not to be confused with a 'bearing sword', which so many of the surviving great swords are!) is only about 3mm or so thick, going down to about 2mm as Peter said, so thin that if you stand them on their point, they bow under their own weight. The tips are often very flat, and almost seem to disappear when the sword is turned edge on; as Dr. Michael Lacy once put it, "It's like fighting with a six foot razor blade". This is why they so often become wider toward the tip. It is not uncommon for surviving fighting swords to have had some or most of the 'business end' broken off and been retipped; the armoury at Graz has several examples, some of them almost ludicrously short. Most of the fighting swords I've seen average roughly 8mm thick at the ricasso, but I have seen a couple as thick as 10mm. The 'flukes' coming off the blade often did not become much thinner towards their tips.
jamesarlen.com
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The comments about really thin tip sections of the blade are accurate. Note that this extreme thinning means that the end of the blade will be lenticular (lens-shaped), not diamond, in section. (Or lenticular all the way, or hexagonal with lenticular tip, or ...). John Clements' essay on the ARMA site, http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html, has some measurements.

Your blade is on the wider end of the range, and should be on the thinner end to keep the weight down.

(Clements' essay also has a couple of pictures of hooks on crosses like yours, one of the examples looks like a bearing sword/parade sword. I still don't like the grip-ward hook.)
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Walter S




Location: Czech Republic
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thank you for your helpful comments.

My sword is designed so that the blade is as long as realistically possible, hence the somewhat short ricasso and hilt. Both are within ranges observed on photos though.

It is quite likely that some photos which I used for reference were parade swords - I can't really distinguish them.

I will change the grip, pommel and crossguard. Blade only maybe (I will explain why). I'm gonna ask few specific questions:

1) Pommel - how is this type of pommel supposed to end? Plain or with nut? I seen both, but it seems authentic ones usually don't have nut.

2) Grip - I don't like the cigar shaped grips much. Is the current older style of grip out of place or just less likely.

3) Crossguard - I will probably put fleur de lys inside the siderings. I want to have crossguard appropriate for a fighting sword (not parade sword), but I'm not really sure how to distinguish these. Does this seem to be a fighting sword? http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage.php?pos=-1728 Peter mentioned beast heads and other decorations, are these possible for a fighting sword? If yes, is there a picture where I can see something like that?

4) Blade - I'm aware the current blade would be too heavy for a fighting sword. I know exactly where the problems are - the the blade is too thick overally and too wide at the ricasso. Thinning it will bring down weight from 4kg to 3kg, also narrowing it at ricasso from 6cm to 4.5cm will bring weight down to manageable 2.5kg. I'm not sure about thinning the blade, because making the sword hard to see would be rather bad. I'm concerned that making the blade same width along entire length could make the blade look blunt/less capable than when slightly tapered.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Apr, 2010 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well for a computer game the sword can be " cheated " a bit so that it will be easy to see and not disappear if viewed edge wise with a very thin blade near the tip.

But Peter's advice I would take to heart since he is a high end designer and researcher and has personal experience seeing, measuring and handling museum pieces up close in his research for his own work and for his work designing the Albion line of swords.

So start by basing the design on what a real sword would be dimensioned and then make the necessary changes for the game: In any case the sword will look a lot more authentic/realistic than most game swords.

Your design may be off in details but still very good if you started with little knowledge before you started doing the research.

There are 3 possible swords on this page:

http://www.deltin.net/16thc.htm

This one is the closest to what I think you are aiming for:
http://www.deltin.net/2162.htm

This one is more ornate but still a real fighting sword:
http://www.deltin.net/5168.htm

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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